Year after year, Calvin Scott Roberts has worked on his onstage versatility. And when you look at the Dallas actor's resume, it certainly shows in the variety of roles he's taken on: 1930s musician, protective brother, abusive husband, magical king, and soon-to-be unreliable witness in a landmark murder case.
That last role would be Jim Conley in WaterTower Theatre's concert version of Parade, but before that mounts in March, Roberts is starring as one-fourth of the cast of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change at Theatre Three. This musical journey about dating, love, parenting, and relationships first debuted at Theatre Three 17 years ago, but the yearly production is now is being revitalized by B.J. Cleveland.
Before Roberts ventures down the highway of love (the show plays December 29 through February 12) he took the time to fill out our survey of serious, fun, and sometimes ridiculous questions.
Name: Calvin Scott Roberts
Role in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change: Man 2
Previous work in the DFW area: Jesus Christ Superstar, Rent (Casa Mañana); Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Spunk, Honky, Creep (WaterTower Theatre); Memphis, Crazy For You, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, The Drowsy Chaperone (Theatre Three); Miracle on 34th St., Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters (Dallas Children’s Theater); The Color Purple (Jubilee Theatre); Julius Caesar, Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare Dallas); A Christmas Carol (Dallas Theater Center); The Producers (Uptown Players), and more.
Where you currently reside: Physically, Dallas. Emotionally, NYC.
First theater role: Santa Claus
First stage show you ever saw: Singin' in the Rain
Moment you decided to pursue a career in theater: My senior year in high school, I played the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. During the scene after “King of the Forest,” I found myself on all fours roaring like a lion. I knew then that theater was what I wanted and was supposed to do. I’d always loved performing, but that moment was pretty definitive for me.
Most challenging role you’ve played: Mister in The Color Purple. Discovering what made him abusive was a difficult task. It’s surprising when you realize what can bring out the darkest parts of the human heart.
Special skills: Some accents, cooking, obsessing over TV shows, evil laughing.
Something you’re REALLY bad at: Math. Cutting in a straight line.
Current pop culture obsession: Westworld. Love & Hip Hop. Snapchat. Twitter. (I’m a little late.) Instagram stories.
Last book you read: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Favorite movie(s): Clue, The Goonies, School Daze, Big Trouble in Little China, Coming to America
Favorite musician(s): Mos Def, Sara Bareilles, Emile Sande, Leon Bridges, Beyonce (duh), Michael Jackson, Prince, India Arie, Adele, Ella Fitzgerald, Christophe Willem, Audra McDonald, Frank Ocean
Favorite song: At the moment, “Don’t Hurt Yourself” by Beyonce featuring Jack White.
Dream role: Bobby in Company, Burr and Washington in Hamilton
Favorite play(s): Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, God of Carnage, Fences (all August Wilson), Hamlet, The Tempest, Topdog/Underdog, Laughing Wild, Sexual Perversity in Chicago
Favorite musical(s): Hamilton, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Ain't Misbehavin', Edges, Fly By Night, Evita, Dreamgirls, In The Heights, A Chorus Line, Marie Christine, Ragtime, Gypsy, Kinky Boots, The Wild Party, The Scottsboro Boys
Favorite actors/actresses: Jeffrey Wright, Audra McDonald, Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, James Marsden
Favorite food(s): Pho, Italian, Doritos
Must-see TV show(s): Westworld
Something most people don’t know about you: I used to be a cheerleader.
Place in the world you’d most like to visit: Spain
Pre-show warm-up: Usually some type of annoying vocalizations.
Favorite part about your current role: Getting to play some really fun characters I don’t usually get to play.
Most challenging part about your current project: The costume changes will be tricky.
Most embarrassing onstage mishap: During a Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughter’s performance, I decided to underdress a costume I had never underdressed before in order to save time. Well, of course, I underestimated how tight I should tie the drawstring because during our finale dance number, the top pants fell to my knees in front of a billion kids!
Career you’d have if you weren’t in theater: I’d be a chef.
Favorite post-show spot: My bed.
Most memorable theater moment: Offstage, meeting Audra McDonald. Onstage, the entire run of The Drowsy Chaperone at Theatre Three. To this day it is one of the best — top three — experiences I’ve had.